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‘Twas The Week Before Christmas…

December 18, 2011 21 comments

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house,

Everything was scurrying. Why, we even drove out that mouse!

Our clothing was packed in boxes with care,

In hopes that the moving truck would soon be here.

Not a jingle or a jangle or an ornament could be found.

Somewhere they were buried among the boxes that abound.

There’s furniture to buy and curtains to be hung.

No time for wrapping or Christmas carols to be sung.

There were no plans for decorating or baking, it’s true.

And while the timing seems off, it’s just what we have to do.

We’re moving that’s right, in the HEIGHT of the Holiday season.

But amidst all of this craziness, thankfully, came the quiet voice of reason.

It was born from a terrible, awful, worry.

And came to me through the words of an innocent ten-year old’s query.

“Mommy?” she whispered, as I tucked her into bed.

Lifting herself slightly and tilting her head.

“Will we have a tree this year?”

I paused and thought, ‘Oh my, Oh dear.’

Will Santa find us, in our new home, is more likely this little girl’s fear.

I had to catch my breath and hold back a tear.

I was so unprepared for her question, that it gave me a start.

Like an arrow that came rushing through, piercing me, in the middle of my heart.

There were no visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.

Thoughts of setting up cable and internet were swimming with the fact that I have no bed.

Why I haven’t had any time to entertain thoughts of the man in red.

I looked at her face wide-eyed with wonder.

How could I omit this and create such a blunder?

My girl is always so brave — wise, even bold.

I forget sometimes that she’s really not that old.

It was in that moment, I realized the importance of this.

A reminder that Christmas is something we-just-can-not miss.

So, I smiled the most reassuring smile I could muster.

Desperately trying to hide any sign of startle-ment or fluster.

“No worries sweet baby, we will have a tree.”

“Sleep tight now,” I said.”Rest easy. You can count on me.”

No matter what, come hell or high-water,

There will be a Christmas tree in my new home, for my son and my daughter.

Sometimes it’s the smallest voice that speaks quite loud,

Bringing with it clarity. Moving out the dark cloud.

Yes, sometimes it’s the smallest voice that helps you NOT to lose sight.

Be sure to hear it as it’s usually right.

So, with that I will say, Merry Christmas to all!

And to all, a good night!

Happy Holidays! And may God bless our new home!

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Categories: Family, Love, Moving, Parenting Tags:

Billboard Baby

June 26, 2011 6 comments

“Yard sale!  Yard sale!  Come check out the yard sale!”

Forget the PennySaver.      Who needs the classifieds in the newspaper?

Why even bother to advertise on Craig’s List when you can have this??

That’s right, for the price of a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a croissant, this willing and able 10-year old will happily take your idea, event or function on the road! She comes complete with borrowed wings, a friend’s home-made shield, soccer shoes, red knee-high soccer socks, a Tinkerbell birthday hat and her very own pink-wheeled scooter!

Let this Billboard Baby loose in your neighborhood and customers will be clambering at your door, yard sale or lemonade stand. Satisfaction guaranteed!

But wait! Don’t just let these pictures alone convince you…. here is an actual client testimonial:

“No one came to our yard sale for HOURS. Finally, we agreed to give Hannah’s approach a try. It was amazing! A miracle! She literally stopped traffic! As soon as Hannah hit the pavement, customers started coming out of the woodwork (or at least their homes, to see what all the commotion was) and over to our yard sale.  I’ll never have another yard sale — without her!” ~ Karen Szczuka Teich

Okay, so while everything at my Everything Must Go yard sale eventually went, unfortunately, most of it went to the Goodwill. Not exactly the money-maker I had hoped it would be, despite the literally months of planning and preparation. Who knew the biggest flea market venue in the county was holding their annual “public” yard sale the same day I was having my little “private” one? Apparently everyone. Except me of course.

Oh well, I guess we never would have discovered Hannah’s new knack for advertising if our sale was such a success in the first place, right? It’s all in the way you choose to look at things and honestly, watching Hannah scooter through the neighborhood while hollering her heart out about our “sale” was worth every idle hour!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (mostly to remind myself),

It’s not what happens but what you do– how you deal with — what happens, that really matters.

It may not have been a profitable day but it was a great day, nonetheless.

 

Photo credits: © Karen Szczuka Teich.

Everything Must Go – Including Me!

April 10, 2011 5 comments

“The only thing constant in life is change.”

François de la Roche Foucauld

This June, I will have lived at the same address for 19 years. It’s where my kids were born, learned to swim, catch a ball and ride a bike. It’s where I greeted trick-or-treaters and decorated for the holidays, where I chose to put my career aside to become a stay-at-home mom; planning day trips, hosting play-dates, pool parties and birthdays. There are no regrets. I wouldn’t have had it any other way for my kids and while many things have changed over the past 19 years, my address remained a constant.

Now, that’s about to change.

In preparation for this event, my daughter and I are having a MEGA lawn sale. For weeks we’ve been gathering items to be sold and we’re selling, EVERYTHING! From the attic to the basement, she and I have been cleaning house. We’ve gone through every closet, including the ones we used to hide in, from Nana, when she’d come to visit during the toddler years. We went through boxes, like those filled with plastic play-food my kids served in the restaurants they’d “open” on a weekly basis. We emptied drawers that housed costumes, like the one this “craft-challenged” mom fashioned out of a black pillow case by cutting holes in it for arms and eyes and then just putting it over my two-year old son’s head. (Who makes a ghost costume out of a black pillowcase??) He LOVED it and wore it all-year-long.

We cleared shelves full of games we played so often, so long ago. The ones they are too big for now. We even found the Spy-Alarm my son put on his bedroom door a few years back. Meant to be a deterrent, to keep his little sister out, a blaring alarm would sound if anyone (usually me) tried to enter his room without knowing the code. Of course, she figured out the code, every single time. He finally gave up and took it off. We’ve washed, sorted, bagged and tagged everything from Cinderella, Belle and Snow White dress up outfits, to books, baskets, Barbies and blankets. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to say “hello” again to so many treasures that have been resting in the dark for such a long time.

A heartwarming experience on several levels, working with my daughter has been a real treat. She’s been a driving force behind this endeavor and has been pretty amazing about giving up much of what she’s amassed over the past 10-years, even willing to say “good-bye” to Pooh.

“I don’t really play with him anymore. Maybe some other kid will. You know mom?”

I’m taking as little as possible with me. I don’t want to bring things from this house into my new home. Much of the sentimental value attached to a lot of our stuff was robbed a year ago, along with the over $10,500 worth of cash, jewelry and small electronics that walked out the door or should I say, climbed out the window, that winter. That whole occurrence plays a large role in why this house doesn’t really feel like a home anymore — to me anyway. And it’s not really what was taken, as much as what was left behind, that brought me, to this point of needing to go.

It was the constant discovery of yet another missing something that left behind feelings of anxiousness and wonder. It was the months of worry leaving behind so many sleepless nights. It was knowing that a “stranger” was watching our “comings and goings”, mine in particular and taking advantage of the “goings” by taking his time to root through our precious closets, boxes, drawers and shelves, our bedrooms and private things and taking our things, that left behind feelings of anger, fear and helplessness. It was the repeated invasion of privacy, more than eight times in four months, that ultimately left no love-loss between this house and me. Much as I tried, I just couldn’t continue to make it a home anymore. After a while, I didn’t want to.

In her little heart of hearts, I believe my daughter is as eager to leave as I am. She gets it. She always has.

A home should be a sanctuary, a haven, a warm peaceful retreat from life’s daily stresses. Honestly, it could be in a cardboard box, as long as it’s a happy place to be. A home should be and feel safe. When it doesn’t, it’s time to go.

I’m ready to go and to let go, eager to get on with this next adventure and continue life’s journey. And although I may not be taking many things with me, I will be taking all of those treasured memories that resurfaced while going from the attic to the basement. Those, I will keep forever in my heart.

Everything else, must go! Including me.

(And Edward of course. He goes where-ever I go.)

Tell me, where are life’s changes taking you?

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